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by Goldberg Sloan, Holly

Book list A naturally gifted musician, Sam and his younger, possibly autistic brother, Riddle, have been raised apart from society by their criminally insane father, Clarence, who constantly moves the boys from town to town, always one step ahead of the law. But when Sam meets Emily and a tentative friendship begins, the always unstable Clarence goes berserk and, taking the boys deep into the heart of a national forest, attempts to kill them. The boys escape, but Sam is injured in the process, and a harrowing survival story begins. Sloan's novel is an exercise in excess, which is both good and bad news. Sam and Riddle are wonderfully appealing characters that readers will root for, but the story is occasionally over the top and misanthropic in tone, with too many characters that range from fatuous to grotesque. Still, this is a highly suspenseful read with a dynamic, cinematic quality that keeps the pages turning to the satisfying conclusion.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Seventeen-year-old Sam's and 10-year-old Riddle's lives have never been normal. Because of their abusive father's bad habit-stealing-they are always on the run. Sam stumbles into church wearing his cleanest dirty clothes on the day that Emily Bell sings "I'll Be There" by the Jackson Five. He can't help but feel that she is singing directly to him, and the two make a connection that later will change both of their lives. Because of many coincidences, the two eventually meet again and the relationship blossoms, but not without some hindrances. Sam's father commits a series of crimes, and he forces the boys to hit the road with him again. The brothers end up escaping their father's grip and get separated, and readers will flip pages frantically to find out if they are reunited with one another and with Emily's family. Sloan illustrates how we are all connected in big and small, positive and negative ways. Any reader who has ever questioned whether even the smallest gesture of kindness can make a difference will appreciate this book. Even though there are many characters and the scene is constantly changing, this riveting story will keep readers interested and guessing until the end.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Screenwriter and director Sloan delivers a cinematic, psychologically nuanced first novel of star-crossed love and the power of human empathy and connection. Sloan excels at crafting memorable characters and relationships, from the central, transformative romance between 17-year-olds Sam and Emily, who meet after her disastrous church solo, to finely sketched cameos. Sam and his sensitive, possibly autistic younger brother, Riddle, live an isolated and itinerant existence, subject to the whims of their violent and deranged father, Clarence. Tension escalates as Emily's family becomes attached to the boys, growing concerned for their well-being, and an unstable Clarence takes off with his sons once again. It's agonizing but thrilling reading as Sam and Emily try to surmount the many obstacles Sloan throws at them. Her skills as a writer are never in doubt, though the story can at times feel melodramatic, especially as it turns into a survivalist epic, and a plot thread about a classmate enamored with Emily devolves into slapstick. But Emily and Sam's romance is that of the against-all-odds, meant-to-be variety, and while the ending is too perfect, it is unquestionably earned. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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by Eloise Greenfield

School Library Journal K-Gr 8-In eloquent verse, Greenfield narrates the story of the migration during the years 1915-1930 of more than a million African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in search of opportunity, employment, and fair treatment. The poems are arranged under five headings that represent the stages of the journey: "The News," "Goodbyes," "The Trip," "Question," and "Up North." Feelings of fear and apprehension resonate in the poetry, in the sad and hopeful voices of the men, women, and children who gave up all they knew and embarked on an unknown future. Simple words declare their reasons for going with quiet dignity, "Goodbye crazy signs, telling me/where I can go, what I can do," and share the immense pain of leaving. "Mama's making me go./She wants me to be happy/and safe. But I see the sadness/lying deep in her eyes." Gilchrist's illustrations gracefully complement the poetry; mixed-media collages incorporating line drawings, muted watercolor washes, newsprint clippings, photos, and sepia-toned illustrations depict warm family representations as well as stark desperation and anger. Greenfield's lyricism and her clear, narrative style make this book a solid choice for independent reading and for reading aloud. The Great Migration: An American Story (HarperCollins, 1993), illustrated with Jacob Lawrence's bold and moving paintings and including a verse by Walter Dean Myers, also portrays this historical event and can be used in conjunction with Migration.-Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Frequent collaborators Greenfield and Gilchrist (Brothers & Sisters: Family Poems) shape an evocative portrait of African-Americans who moved North during the Great Migration between 1915 and 1930 to escape Ku Klux Klan-fueled racism and to secure better lives. In forceful free verse, travelers bid farewell to what they've known. One man is conflicted about leaving his rural home ("Saying goodbye to the land puts a pain on my heart"), a woman can't wait to get away ("Goodbye, crazy signs, telling me where I can go, what I can do"), and a girl prepares to leave her mother ("I'm a little scared. I'm a lot scared. Off to the big city by myself, with just the church up there to lean on"). Chronicling the journey by train, lilting poetry and pictures capture a sense of both apprehension and hope: "Going to make it. No matter what." Making intriguing use of photographs of people, news headlines, maps, and painted elements, each of Gilchrist's collages has a distinctive look and lighting, ranging from conventional portraits of the travelers to more abstract images. Ages 3-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list *Starred Review* Between 1915 and 1930, more than a million African Americans left their homes in the South and moved to the North, says Greenfield in an introduction to this stirring collection of poems that honors those who took part in the Great Migration, including the poet herself. Each spread looks at a different stage in the journey, beginning with the uprooting: Saying goodbye to the land / puts a pain on my heart, says a farmer. The beat in Greenfield's free-verse poetry amplifies the feeling of momentum, from the way news travels They thought about it, talked about it, / spread the word to the rhythm of the train that is felt even in the northbound passengers' questions, Will I make a good life / for my family, / for myself? / The wheels are singing, / Yes, you will, / you will, you will!' / I hope they're right. / I think they're right. / I know they're right. Greatly enhancing the impact of the words, Gilchrist's moving mixed-media collages layer drawings, maps, and color-washed archival images that have the slightly distorted look of photocopies, giving some of the figures an almost ghostly, translucent appearance. Together, the immediate words, striking images, and Greenfield's personal story create a powerful, haunting view of a pivotal moment in U.S. history even as they show the universal challenges of leaving home behind and starting a new life. A bibliography concludes.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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